2009 was an interesting and challenging year. When I was a child, the year 2000 seemed like this distant dream that would never come, it seemed so far away. In fact, film makers had dreamed up a far different reality for us that what we have. I'm not sure science could have imagined what we have today.
I've seen a lot of people wondering where our hover boards and jet packs are. For Christmas, my son gave me "2001" and it was funny to see what the future looked like in 1968, our imaginations were never bigger or further off. In that vein, now surviving the first decade of a new millenium, I am feeling reflective on what I have learned and seen.
First, I have learned profoundly that people really can change and really do change. I have seen so much evidence in myself of change, and I have always been a believer in second chances that I cannot now imagine why I was afraid to let myself see it in others. Facebook has opened up a whole world of people I used to know- that I never really knew, so all my classmates from the past, some of you I knew- but lots of you I had no idea. I never imagined that you- who seemed to have so much together had the same fears, shyness and insecurities as I did. In those years, I think we are so wrapped up in our own profound struggle, and opening up to others was a deadly game of social chance, that I don't know that we could know one another in any safe way. The fact that we connected at all was kind of a miracle.
But I welcome the opportunity to know you now and to hear your story. So much of my own pain has been healed this year by talking with people who walked the halls with me then and walked through their own fires. My mind has been opened and challenged and it has been gratifying and real to re-connect with so many people. And I will greet you as if this is the first time we meet- welcoming the door to getting to know who you are today without the baggage of the past hanging over us.
Second- in a wholly different capacity- I learned once again, some people are not my friends and that even though they are in grown up bodies that they are not mature and there are still users and liars and thieves in this world. I'm grateful, though that I came across them. Important lessons were learned.
So, part of my new year is to stop beating myself up for giving my friendship to a few women (and a few men) who mightily abused it, and to focus on those who support me and deserve my loyalty and goodness. My challenge now is to let go of the people that have made me feel bad over and over and to embrace the ones who have come into my life in a good way. This has been an interesting year for this challenge because I have always had true friends, real friends. I have always been exactly who I am- there is little pretense with me- and I ask for real in return.
I have no time for superficial in those very close to me, I'd rather know how you really feel- even if it is painful. So, it was very difficult for me to realize that I have misjudged. I was wrong about a few people. I have been lucky with good instincts and good friends but I forgive myself for not being right all the time. It was a hard and necessary lesson. I think the biggest lesson was that it was not my fault. I gave something real and received a lie in return. There was good faith there that was broken.
Third- I learned I can make my own dreams come true. That the only thing holding me back was me and that luck is preparation meeting opportunity. I began to prepare for my future- and live the life I am meant to live instead of the one I lament that did not turn out the way I planned.
This was the year when I found myself more completely as a film maker and a director and I will continue to move forward, challenging myself by writing more and producing more and finding more talented people with dreams. I am profoundly grateful for film and theater in my life. I have always felt when I am acting and directing that this is what I was put on this earth to do. There is a peace in my soul when I am doing these things. This dream that seemed so distant when I was a child is a reality now and I am grateful to be fulfilling this. To do the work is what matters and what makes me happy.
I began the year playing the lead in a play and closed the year directing my film.
I'm grateful to those that took that journey with me- that took the time to come with me and create art.
Lastly- I am grateful for good friends and for my family.
Let me begin with my friends. This journey would not be the same without you. I would fall down without your support and encouragement. I am so blessed with so many special people in my life- some have been there for what seems like forever- my bestest friend Annie, my life would not be the same without you- no one knows me like you- and you love me anyway!
My mother has always been my rock and my inspiration. She is smart, savvy, talented and brave, she amazes me every day and she has a huge and generous heart. If I can be half the human being she is, I will have succeeded in life. There have been so many times I have disappointed her and not been worthy of her support but she has always been there, picking me up and pushing me out there again and never letting me give up on me.
I am grateful for my children- all five of them have taught me lessons in love and challenges in patience and perserverance in life. They are all unique and special and have woven their own places in my heart. I have not always been a perfect mother but I try every day to be worthy of being their mother and I am proud of them every day.
And my amazing husband, I thought I was done with men, really. I knew he was the one fifteen years ago, not when I kissed him for the first time on New Year's Eve- that was unexpected and random but the first time I saw him get up in the middle of the night to let the cat out and never a solitary complaint about it. I could never have imagined that when I made a list of the perfect guy for me that I would meet him. It has not always been the easiest relationship, we have had some tough challenges but I never once thought I would quit on this- because he is the most loving and supportive person. My heart still flutters when I hear his car pull into the driveway and he is the one I want to tell everything to. I feel safe letting him know my every secret. Safe from judgment. Safe from jealousy. He is my soft place to fall when things are tough.
We are a team. He is my partner in every sense, and I feel there is nothing we cannot face together.
So, I look forward to the next decade, the next year. To my old friends, I cherish you, you have been there in the best of times and worst of times, we have grown together.
To my new friends, I look forward to knowing you better and can't wait to listen to your stories with an open heart.
I wish for all of you that you face this new year with courage and that you are blessed with wisdom and that you believe in yourself and your ability to matter to yourself and to someone else.
Happy New Year